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Album: By Country | By Date China | July 2001 < Prev: Temple of Heaven Park | Next: Beijing Nights >
Travelogue: By Country | By Date China | July 2001  

July 2001 - Beijing's Yonghe Gong, Kong Miao, and Guozijian

(Or, in other words, Lama Temple, Confucian Temple, & Imperial College)

100-year old egg in all its gelatinous glory.  (Yes, we eat them.) Cart The Beijing version of Big Boy Restaurants Tote pretending to ring a big bell at the Lama Temple.  Amazingly, one must pay for the privilege, which is why Tote is only pretending.
The Yonge Gong was originally built as an imperial palace.  In 1744 it was converted into a lamasery and became home to monks from Tibet and Mongolia.  In 1979, the government fixed the place up and installed a few novice monks to demonstrate its liberal approach to religion.  There's a couple museums designed to show the critical role of China in the development of Tibetan Buddhism and to show the historical justification of its claim to Tibet.  Yonge Gong is the most renowned Tibetan Buddhist temple in China.  Though one of the temples has an enormous Buddha statue, the place seems primarily a tourist attraction.  The grounds were lovely. We often see Chinese people lighting incense and going through devotional motions.
Some of the signs are in Chinese, Tibetan, and Mongolian.  This is Tibetan and Mongolian Some statues which probably have some meaning
This is Confucius at Kong Miao, the second largest Confucian Temple in China.  The temple was reopened in 1981 and is now used as a museum.  Generally, the exhibits are weak and the interpretative material either trite or in Chinese.   The grounds are peaceful and studded with very old trees.  A drum with drum stele in the background.  The drum stele are essentially peculiar stone tablets recording one thing or another.
Maggie riding a giant tortoise One of the buildings.  Like the rest of the place, slightly run down. An altar Statues on the altar
A stone used as a bell The music section One of the museum exhibits.  A lovely statue from someplace unknown but probably in Beijing. Relaxing in one of the courtyards.
A view of the front courtyard with many stone stele which record who passed the imperial civil service exams. Fancy rickshaws.